What is a Maryland Bridge

What is a Maryland Bridge?
A dental bridge is defined as any prosthesis that is cemented, screw-retained, mechanically coupled, or otherwise retained on natural teeth, dental roots, or implants. These, in turn, function as a primary support for the prosthesis, restoring missing teeth, and making it impossible for the patient to remove it. Putting it simply, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis that will fill a missing tooth by supporting and also rehabilitating the teeth, roots, or implants that limit that space.

When to use dental bridges?

The great indication for the placement of a dental bridge is the rehabilitation of missing teeth. In other words, fixed bridges aim to replace one or more teeth that were previously lost, using the teeth around that same tooth loss as support pillars. This type of prosthesis thus allows the recovery of correct chewing, alignment, and aesthetics of the teeth, keeping the remaining teeth in the right position, preventing movements to compensate for missing teeth.

How is a bridge built?

In a simplified way, a traditional fixed bridge is composed of several united dental crowns, the extremities functioning as retaining elements, which will rest on the abutment teeth, and the intermediate one(s) as a pontic to replace the absent tooth or teeth.

There are some modifications to this classic scheme, such as the Maryland bridges, which use only abutments instead of crowns as retainers, and the cantilever bridges, which require only one abutment tooth, making the pontic partially suspended. Although less invasive, these solutions nevertheless have very specific indications.

What materials are used?

Since fixed bridges are, as a general rule, interconnected dental crowns, any material used to manufacture these pieces in unitary form will be able to be used for the manufacture of bridges. And despite the various materials available, there has also been a natural tendency in this type of rehabilitation to use ceramics as the product of choice, due to its aesthetic appearance. Given its high resistance, zirconia is one of the most used ceramics in bridges.

The Maryland Bridge

A Maryland bridge is a bridge that is different from a traditional bridge in that it does not use adjacent teeth for the pillars. A Maryland bridge consists of two metal wings that are attached to a false tooth. These metal wings are porous so an adhesive can be applied effectively. Once an adhesive has been affixed to the metal wings, the metal sides are then glued to the back of the teeth closest to the missing tooth area. Patients who have this type of dental treatment do not experience much pain, and most patients experience only mild discomfort, which makes this procedure a popular choice. The benefits of the Maryland Bridge include not only comfort but also since the dentist doesn’t have to grind down your existing teeth in order to affix the prosthetic teeth. It must be kept in mind, however, that the Maryland bridge might not be indicated if you are missing more than two teeth in a row.